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1UP: StarCraft 2 Wings of Liberty Interview

1UP interviewed Dustin Browder to talk about Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. The Zerg and Protoss Campaigns are in concept stage, and the team is focusing mostly in the core game. They know the storyline already, know how it evolves and concludes, but for now their efforts are into building the Terran Campaign.  The Zerg and Protoss campaign are considered expansions.

Some fans have grown concern that the Zerg and Protoss won’t be playable in multiplayer. This is not true. Once you purchase the Terran Campaign: Wings of Liberty, it will have multiplayer capability through Battle.net 2.0, and all three races will be available. Once the next expansion is released, new units and content will be added.

This interview offers a few screenshots of interest. One of them shows the Terran Tech Purchase UI that allows you to buy units and upgrades once you have acquired enough resources doing mercenary jobs.

When pressing one of the units or upgrade buttons, a rendering of the unit is displayed to the bottom left. To the right you get to read stats info such as credits cost, a profile, HP, armor, special bonus attributes.

The second image contains a zoomed in view of a battlecruiser laying siege to Zerg forces. This image clearly shows an in-game cinematic as we know them in Warcraft III.  On the left we can appreciate Matt Horner (Jim Raynor’s Second in command). On the bottom, a black frame displays subtitles of what Matt Horner is saying: “Horner: Glad we made it in time, sir. Now let’s get you boys outta there.” If anything, it gives Modders an idea of how they can create their own campaigns and in-game cinematics. Hopefully we get to see more of this type of screenshots. Read the full interview.

Blizzard Quote:
1UP: Do you anticipate the production cycle for the StarCraft 2 trilogy to feel like making three separate games, or more like World of WarCraft and its expansions, where the bulk of the work is on the first installment, and subsequent ones are more about iterating and refining rather than inventing?

DB: Well that’s the hope; that a good amount of the hard work of designing gameplay mechanics and systems, as well as the internal tasks of creating tools and protocols to develop all this content, is mostly settled at this point as we get deeper into the creation of the core game. So once we ship the core game of StarCraft 2 and start delving into the expansions, we’ll have a great deal of that infrastructure under our belts and be able to concentrate primarily on content creation for the two expansion sets.

That said, we’re conscious of making sure we are providing new and compelling content for the expansions. The meta-aspects of the Zerg and Protoss campaigns, for example, will work a lot differently than how we’re doing things with the core StarCraft 2 game. It doesn’t make sense for Kerrigan to be flying around in a battlecruiser and picking out mercenary missions for cash, which is what you’ll be doing with Raynor in the core game’s campaign. So we’ll be doing something different with Kerrigan to get her to evolve and grow her Zerg army. Meanwhile, Zeratul’s Protoss campaign may require you to engage in diplomacy with the different Protoss tribes in order to gain access to different units and technologies.

G4TV: Starcraft II Beta Soon

G4TV interviewed Chris Sigaty and Dustin Browder. Both developers talk about Starcraft 2’s plans. And the exciting thing to highlight in this video is how many times they mention the word: BETA.  It’s like if they were teasing it to be very SOON. It’s strongly hinted we will have this game on our hands within 2009.

Blizzard Quote:
Chris Sigaty: We

Echoes of War Now Available On iTunes

Blizzard has announced the Echoes of War soundtracks are now available on iTunes store allowing you to purchase individual tracks or the whole album.

Blizzard Quote:
Head on over to the iTunes store to get your copy of one or all of the 15 unique arrangements from Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment. This new album was recently released on CD, and has now been added to iTunes as well. It features 90 minutes of music in all, based on tracks from our games, including the upcoming StarCraft II and Diablo III. Individual tracks are available on iTunes for 99 cents each. For more details, check out the Echoes of War site or head to the Eminence Online Store to order a physical copy.

Starcraft II Q&A Batch 47

The latest StarCraft II Q&A has been released with info about Zerg’s Consume ability, Zerg flying unit’s micro and macro management compared to the original StarCraft, Thor is no longer built by an SCV, Overlords now carry zerg like in the original game,  and more.

Blizzard Quote:
StarCraft II Q&A Batch 47

1. In the original StarCraft, most air units can move and fire, vultures have fast rotating times and can shoot backwards and run forward instantaneously with enough micro. In StarCraft II, there have been some concerns from players who have played the game, that the unit movement animations are getting in the way of micro. Will such animation cancelling techniques still be possible in StarCraft II? – Team Liquid

Both macro and micro-control are very important in StarCraft II as well, and when it comes to micro-control like Vulture

Blizzplanet’s Blizzard Music: Echoes of War Drawing Contest

Celebrating the Christmas season, Blizzplanet launches a new contest that will chill everyone’s heart with joy. The prize of this contest is courtesy and sponsored by Eminence:

The Music of Blizzard Entertainment: Echoes of War

It contains music from Starcraft, Diablo II, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Starcraft: Ghost, Diablo III and Starcraft II. You can take home this product by participating in this contest. Ends on January 2, 2009 at 11:59 EST (New York time)

Simply folloiw and complete all of the instructions listed below:

  • Make sure to type your main character’s username and server. (Whether Battle.net or WoW—for winner announcement purposes)

  • Answer the following Trivia questions after visiting the official Echoes of War website: All the answers may be found here:
    (http://www.echoes-of-war.com)

    1. Who is the Eminence Artistic Director involved in the production of Echoes of War?
    2. What was the previous Namco game soundtrack produced by Eminence prior to Echoes of War?
    3. Mention six Blizzard composers involved in Echoes of War.
    4. Who is the principal conductor of the Eminence Symphony Orchestra?
    5. What Blizzard music composer created the Diablo 3 Overture music?
    6. Which Blizzard music composer inspired his themes from Africa and India music influences?
    7. What European orchestra did play the Diablo II expansion music?
    8. Mention three projects previously created by Kow Otani.
    9. Name the Echoes of War soundtrack title that Go Shiina arranged with Derek Duke.
    10. Listen to the four audio-samples and tell us which you like best and why.

  • Mail your submission at

Blizzplanet is currently spotlighted at the official World of Warcraft website. Read our Echoes of War review to find out what’s inside the prize’s box in detail.

Starcraft: The Board Game Brood War Expansion Preview

Fantasy Flight Games official website recently had a facelift and new bits of content and previews of the upcoming Brood War expansion for the Starcraft: The Board Game product.

The Brood War Ruleset PDF is now available here. This new expansion also introduces new Leadership Cards that add interesting strategies. Among the Leadership Cards are the Hero cards and the Installation cards.

The Installation cards include the protoss Warp gate, Infested Terran bases, a Zerg Cerebrate and the Overmind. The Hero cards include Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan.

Fantasy Flight Games also unveiled a sneak peak preview of the Brood War units with some of their stats.

Warcraft Pocket Star Book Editor Marco Palmieri Laid Off

The economic recession across the United States is seriously affecting every industry: from General Motors and other Automobile manufacturers down to book publishers and beyond. Sadly, I have to inform that my personal contacts at Pocket Star Books and Tokyopop have been laid off. I had heard a few weeks ago that Tim Beedle (Starcraft/ Warcraft manga editor) and Susan Hale were no longer at Tokyopop. I don’t know the perks, but now I have figured out it is due to lay offs.

Today, after visiting Keith R.A. DeCandido’s blog, I found out that Marco Palmieri was among the 35 employees laid off by Simon & Schuster on December 3.  He was the editor of all Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo novels, and more notoriously known as editor of 65% of the Star Trek pocket star books published in the past 11 years. It is a very sad day for hundreds of writers, including Richard A. Knaak, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Christie Golden, Jeff Grubb, Graham McNeill, and Aaron Rosenberg who had the opportunity to meet and work with him. I am still in shock. I sent him an email just a day ago on Saturday not even knowing he may not even be able to read it from the office.

In my email I was letting him know the URL to the Night of the Dragon review and to ask a few things about the Starcraft Ghost: Spectre. I am really saddened to hear about his sudden departure. I have been in contact with Marco Palmieri for about two or three years. He would ship review copies of most Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft pocket star books to my home. The latest ones Diablo Archive, World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal and World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon.

I have no words to thank him for his great support to keep fans updated with lore and upcoming books. Thanks to him,  Blizzplanet has been the main source of Blizzard novel news for other fansites, fans and even wiki enthusiasts in the past years. I had the opportunity to hand-shake Marco Palmieri this year at the New York Comic Con and to thank him face-to-face. I was looking forward to meeting him again on 2009. I will get in contact with the new editor, but it will not be the same without Marco. I am not the only one with that sentiment. All of the Blizzard novel writers feel the same way. We hope Marco Palmieri finds a new job doing what he does and loves best. Not only for him, but for his wife and two children. Best wishes to the other 34 employees who were laid off too.

The next Warcraft novel is expected to hit bookstores on April 21 as a hardcover (retail price: $ 25) under the title World of Warcraft: Arthas, The Rise of the Lich King—by Christie Golden. Hopefully, the layoffs won’t delay the release dates and script proposal and revisions for upcoming books.

Source: Keith R.A. DeCandido’s blog

Massive Inc. and Blizzard Entertainment Form Multi-Year Advertising Relationship

Blizzard Entertainment and Massive, Inc. stroke an exclusive deal to advertise on Battle.net. Before you freak out, this deal does not include in-game advertisement. Blizzard respects the integrity of their games and fans. Microsoft’s Massive. Inc will advertise in World of Warcraft and other game websites.

NEW YORK

Starcraft Comic Book Sketches

Starcraft Comic Book artist Shawn Moll released two of the sketches found in the Blizzcon 2008 comic preview. The first image is one of the characters named Cole Hickson. The second image is the pencil sketch of the Blizzcon 2008 preview front cover. The female sniper is named Nuura Joss. DC Comics Wildstorm has not officially announced the Starcraft Comic Book. It is expected to hit stores anytime on 2009 as an ongoing series based in the Starcraft universe. The planning of this comic has been going on since March 2008.

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